The town of Ponteland suffers from regular flood events. As part of Lugano’s plans for the Garden Village development, to the north of Ponteland at Dissington Estate, the developer is supporting a Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) on the River Pont, that flows through the allocated site.
The FAS is designed to alleviate flooding utilising various control measures over c.2km of the watercourse upstream of Ponteland. The Scheme will include creation of a small dam and remeandering of the river so that it is allowed to follow its original course. Flood meadows will also be created retaining water during flood events. This ambitious scheme is being designed with input from the Environment Agency and WYG hydrologists.
EcoNorth was asked to join the team undertaking the baseline surveys of the area that could be affected by the FAS. The full baseline surveys comprised a number of targeted species-specific surveys including badger, otter, water vole, great crested newt, white-clawed crayfish and breeding birds. Bat roost suitability surveys were also carried out on bridge structures and trees. Furthermore a detailed phase 2 botanical survey was undertaken in order to highlight the presence of rare species and important habitats.
The results of this suite of surveys enabled the production of a constraints and opportunities map which will influence the design of the FAS. The map produced highlights areas to avoid due to their valued biodiversity, areas where more survey work is required and areas where there is potential for ecological enhancement.
As well providing the client with the detailed baseline ecological data in a timely manner allowing the FAS design to be established, EcoNorth helped facilitate the consultation process with statutory agencies and interested parties. Finally, as part of the multi-disciplinary team working on this project we contributed to the Water Framework Directive (WFD) Assessment specifically in relation to the biological elements of the process.
Our professional advice on a complex issue (practical flood control measures combined with maintaining and enhancing biodiversity) was well received by the client. We look forward on working with all parties on this exciting scheme, which has the potential to create real ecological value and flood alleviation measures, as well as complementing the Garden Village proposal, also within the Dissington Estate.
|Project Start & End Date||September 2016 – ongoing|
|Client||Lugano Developments Ltd|
|Location||River Pont, Ponteland, Northumberland|
|Contract Value||£50,000 +|
“It has been a pleasure to work with EcoNorth. Their guidance and direction has been particularly welcomed to assist in ensuring that our project received ‘buy-in’ and commitment from numerous organisations. The solutions tabled have enhanced the project and will provide it with a lasting legacy.”Scott Munro, Planning Director, Lugano Developments Ltd